Sunday, July 10, 2011

Bachmann denounces porn, probably loses election

I wrote recently about the puzzling tendency for what foreign policy expert Paul Pillar calls 'the airhead wing of the Republican Party, as represented by Sarah Palin' to play such a significant role in right-wing American politics. I thought it was a pity because there seem to be sensible perspectives on the right: intellectual conservatism, libertarianism and the like.

So I was astonished to see that one of the candidates for the Republican Party's shot at the presidency, Michele Bachmann, has signed a declaration which, among other things, opposes pornography.

The full text of the socially conservative declaration is here, and looks at a list of ways that the traditional structure of families has allegedly collapsed. Marriage, it argues, has been debased by 'quickie' divorce, by spousal abuse, non-committal cohabitation, infidelity (including among celebrities) and 'anti-scientific' bias that holds that homosexuality is genetically determined.

Candidates who sign the declaration vow to support a number of points, like support only for monogamous heterosexual marriage. There is a lot to discuss here, but I think the most fascinating point is this:

Humane protection of women and the innocent fruit of conjugal intimacy - our next generation of American children - from human trafficking, sexual slavery, seduction into promiscuity, and all forms of pornography and prostitution, infanticide, abortion and other types of coersion or stolent innocence.

All that in one breath. Interesting to see sexual slavery equated with pornography here. The 'seduction' suggests that women who become involved in prostitution, pornography, or just 'promiscuity' are innocent victims and not independent actors choosing their own lifestyles.

But I'm not going to get involved in the moral questions raised by the declaration. Instead I'm going to point out the gargantuan own-goal Michele Bachmann has just scored: she's against pornography.

Being against homosexuality might not have done too much damage, because most people are straight. In cynical political terms, it makes sense to pick on tiny minority groups if the majority aren't so keen on them.

But lots and lots of people like porn, even if they don't admit it. If she honestly promises to ban pornography then there will be lots of people publicly applauding her, and privately voting against her. This is a Google Insights for Search graph comparing search terms people have been looking up in the US over the last 30 days:

Bachmann can't even attract more Google searches than gay pornography, let alone straight stuff too!

If Bachmann pushes forward with this and genuinely calls for prohibitions on pornography, I expect her chances of electoral success to vanish. People may not admit to it in public, but Google Insights for Search show that behind closed doors, searches for pornographic material are extremely prevalent. The people, this time, vote with their fingers.

4 comments:

  1. I wonder what would her chances be if she appeared in a porno?

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  2. Hehe maybe depend how good it was? :P

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  3. Bruised fruit of conjugal intimacy

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